Recently, I gave three keynote speeches. One in Pennsylvania, one in Texas, and the other in Maine. Virtually! Close enough. Even when I saw people through the video cameras, I felt well cultured at each of these keynote events, and I’m so excited to share what I observed and shared at these events.
I was privileged to speak at three different locations.
That’s not counting the adorable accents on all three events. The only thing missing is that I would have loved to travel to each location and meet everyone in person. It makes me so happy to spend a few days in each state to explore and experience the different cultures right here in the United States. After my speaking engagements I enjoy celebrating afterwards.
Speaking of celebrations, that topic was...
When folks ask me how I think, I say I think in patterns.
Little known secret, I have always been so fascinated with patterns. What kind of patterns? Any kind of pattern of course! You see them in clothing, in houses, in food, in business practices and so on.
It all started back in kindergarten when I was given a book that was all about patterns. For example, I remember the pattern that goes “shirt, pants, pants, pants, SHIRT, pants, pants, pants, shirt” then it asks what comes after “shirt”? It was an easy simple exercise in understanding patterns and I really enjoyed those activity books involving them. The answer was “pants” in case you were wondering. As I’m typing this, I began to realize that I am more into jeans than I am with shorts or long johns.
Speaking of pants, just recently I have found a brand of jeans with my name on it which is “Tyler”. I didn’t hesitate to buy a pair because I needed new jeans anyway. This...
I don’t fear anything. Well, maybe with the exception of dinosaurs, those creatures scare me. Okay, fine, I’m not entirely made of stone and I do fear a lot of things, and it’s the right kind of fear. Though the rumors were confirmed to be true that when I was younger I did not fear many things even if they were extremely dangerous. Like crossing a street with a lot of traffic, walking outside my house in the middle of the night, making my way to a swimming pool without anyone knowing, being around people that were a bad influence on me, and being in sports that would make me sore and bleed. Fear was never a priority for me back then. It felt like it was just an illusion for a long time until I learned from my teachers and parents that having healthy fears were for my protection. The kind of protection that allows me to keep doing activities and literally stay alive.
I know how important it is to fear certain things that will protect you and keep you going....
It’s an exciting world! Go out and explore it! Not talking about virtual worlds in the video games, because that would be far too easy; I love a good challenge, and I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and discover the world.
The list goes on. Are you missing out on any of them? Depends on how you look at it. You could be missing out on something so horrible that you may feel so joyful to not have to suffer through the experience. And that is okay.
But you will never know unless you try.
The worst experience, or one of them, was going out to the drag races. Those chaotic events are full of cars so loud they rival thunder! I have talked about the experience on an earlier blog so I’ll keep it small and simple. Dad wanted to challenge me, I didn’t know what was going on, I experienced all of the chaos, the jetskis didn’t sound as loud after the events. Feel free to read the full story...
By Kristina Tindall
There's never a one size fits all when it comes to teaching social skills, and having a child with autism can be more challenging. As a mother who raised a child with autism, I would like to share a few tips that I found helpful and I hope you will too.
First of all, there are many social stories that start with the very basics: "Hello, my name is ______, what is your name?" So simple, but it's a start. I read many books that would have stories with short dialogue between two characters. It didn't have to be a specific social story, but I picked out books that would have this simple back-and-forth conversation.
My son watched videos on social skills which were mainly provided by his teachers in school.
I also drew him pictures of different social situations which kept his attention a bit longer.
His teachers created an extensive binder of photos and short stories that had different types of social situations that would be familiar to him and his dad and...
Thank the teachers with me.
I would not be where I am in AutismWorks without the help of my teachers. They gave so much to help their students. Every teacher is different and that same goes for the students too when learning; Teaching differently and learning differently from each other. Here are ten things that have helped me the most from elementary to high school.
Admittingly, I was not an easy student in the classroom. Standing on top of desks, making a mess, having an attitude, etcetera, etcetera; Lots of patience coming from the teachers. The thing that became the game changer was that most of the things I have done were unintentional and didn’t know I was not supposed to do what I was doing. I really did want to improve and to learn.
“He’s just being himself, he doesn’t know better” is one of the worst things I have heard; The teachers I have...
The Real Reason Why I Look At The Reflection
It is a strange habit that I find myself doing for as long as I can remember. I just thought about this recently when I was on my lunch break and it got me thinking long and hard about it. I find myself looking at myself in the mirror almost every day; Not just mirrors, windows, lake water, and anything else where I can see myself.
I promise you, this is not a “you are so full of yourself, Tyler'' moment; trust me, I have heard of that reply from a good friend of mine several times. I laughed it off. It’s not really funny though I do not think. Oh no, most of the time as much as I do not want to look at the reflection, I just could not resist and this is why.
I get lonesome really easily ya know. I sort of figured if there was anyone I could talk to, it would be him, the boy in the reflection. How I talk to him doesn’t come from talking with the mouth, no it does not; we...
Pick a favorite animal! Any animal you can think of. From the anemone to the elephant; I know one of my favorite animals is the tiger. I explained in Population ONE on why I chose the tiger to be one of my favorite animals. Ask yourself why you love that particular animal of choice; It may tell a lot about who you are.
On the topic of autism, many children with it would feel much more comfortable around animals than with people.
Here are some of the main reasons why a lot of animals help people with autism. More specifically, animals that are experienced in person, and not seen on a computer or a television or a book.
For zoo animals:
Most animals have something in common that people with autism can relate to.
So quiet that when someone talks to the animal, it feels like they are listening.
When there is no one else that takes the time to listen, leave it...
While every child is different, I can only go by my own experience of when my parents told me I had autism and why I feel it was the perfect timing.
They chose to tell me at age thirteen when I started asking a lot more questions.
Why age thirteen? Why not an earlier age like five or six? Here are my thoughts ~
I truly believe there is power in innocence. Children do not need to know about autism in grade school. Let children be children. Run around and play, make friends, and let kids be kids. Autism is not a priority for them. Even if they start to question things that revolve around some of their differences with other children, I still believe it’s better to wait until the early teenage years, but always letting them know they are special and perfect just the way they are.
So why do I feel that waiting until the age of thirteen is a good time? Because it’s the beginning of the teenage years when things get incredibly emotional. Holding these...